Friday, October 4, 2013

"Do not go beyond what is written"

The following is St John Chrysostom's commentary to 1 Corinthians 4:6, notice how this native Greek speaking Christian, that preached just 200 years after the time the New Testament was written did not even think 1 Corinthians 4:6 taught "sola scriptura."
This, if you mark it, is the reason why he says here, "These things have I transferred in a figure unto myself for your sakes, that in us you may learn not to be wise above what is written," signifying that if he had applied his argument in their persons, they would not have learned all that they needed to learn, nor would have admitted the correction, being vexed at what was said. But as it was, revering Paul, they bore the rebuke well. 
But what is the meaning of, "not to be wise above what is written?" It is written, [Matthew 7:3] "Why do you behold the mote that is in your brothers's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in your own eye?" and "Judge not, that you be not judged." For if we are one and are mutually bound together, it behooves us not to rise up against one another. For "he that humbles himself shall be exalted," says he. And [Matthew 20:26-27; Mark 10:43; not verbatim] "He that will be first of all, let him be the servant of all." These are the things which "are written." 
"That no one of you be puffed up for one against another." Again, having dismissed the teachers, he rebukes the disciples. For it was they who caused the former to be elated.--St John Chrysostom, Homily 12 on First Corinthians, Patriarch of Constantinople, (lived AD 347–407) 
St John Chrysostom's commentary makes sense considering the whole surrounding context of the phrase "do not go beyond what is written" is pride and judgment!

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